My name is Christine Eaton. I am happily married with three phenomenal children. My daughter is in college and my twin boys are currently in first grade.
After a 24 year addiction to nicotine, I quit smoking on my 40th birthday in an effort to prevent the hereditary heart disease passed down from my mothers side. I did not prevent it, but fortunately I did catch it early.
Between the extra 15 lbs I have been carrying from the pregnancy with my twins, and the 15 lbs I put on after I quit smoking, I woke up from my self induced coma to discover I was 30 lbs overweight.
Good New & Bad News
One day, while I was on my elliptical, I suddenly developed excruciating chest pains. I drove myself to the Emergency Room (bad idea). There they performed a heart catheter.
Good news: No heart attack.
Bad news: They discovered blocked arteries.
A few weeks later I underwent a nuclear stress test. The results were mixed:
Good news: No signs of heart attack or any heart problems. My blocked arteries cauterized themselves, so no more blocked arteries.
Bad news: I have dead heart tissue about the size of a nickel where the blocked arteries were located.
Considering my heart is only about the size of my fist, that is a lot of damage. But, it is done. It can not be reversed. All I can do is try to prevent further damage from taking place.
I spoke with my cardiologist (yes, at 41 I have a cardiologist) about strenuous physical exercise routines. He gave me the go ahead, saying the strenuous exercise will be great for my heart, and knocking off the extra 30 lbs of fat I am carrying will be a great benefit as well.
This news messed with my head. Even though I was told to exercise vigorously, I was terrified I would drop dead on the sidewalk while jogging. It took a few months to get a grip on my fear. Though not completely over it, I am certainly in control of it, and though it serves as a great motivator, I do not allow fear to run my life.
Dating My Cardiologist
Every year, on my birthday (or as close to it as I can possibly get) I am scheduled to have a check up with my cardiologist, and get a nuclear stress test.
It is my hope that I shall have a good, long, relationship with him. I am hoping for at least 40 more years of a healthy heart.